Muscle Strain or Abdominal Pain?
Is the pain you are having in the front of your abdomen muscle related or is it more internal? Did you do one too many crunches, did you twist wrong, or is it something to do with the organs under the layer of muscle?
Abdominal pain can be caused by a musculoskeletal (muscle) injury OR an injury to an internal organ. To make things even more confusing, injury to the internal organs can refer pain into the abdominal area like a strained muscle.
A muscle strain in the abdomen generally occurs in combination with twisting or when the muscle is maximally contracted and then stretched. This might be with a twisting and reaching motion or in an awkward position on your back or side reaching up or forward.
Didn’t do anything that you can think of to cause abdominal pain? Maybe it’s not muscle, maybe it’s coming from somewhere deeper. Injury or dysfunction of an internal organ can be felt in our abdominal, side, or low back area similar to a muscle ache. The difference is that it is generally not associated with a specific movement or muscle contraction. It can be associated with breathing or eating (digestion), and can vary in presentation. It can be intermittent in nature (though not due to predictable movements or muscle contractions) or it can be constant.
What do you do? Most of the time abdominal related pain is not an emergency and will subside in a few days. Use this general rule of thumb: Is the pain severe OR been persistent for a week? See your doctor. Avoid asking Dr. Google and go straight to the source if you are concerned.
If you have additional concerns or questions, make sure to follow up with your personal physician.